It’s a day for counting. It’s a day for counting our blessings.
“I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.”
Ezekiel 34:26 NIV
I am blessed.Are you? I am richly blessed. Is that how you would describe your life?
How often do we say, ”Count your blessings,” but how often do we actually pause and take inventory? I’m doing it this morning. This morning, I am plopped in my comfy chair beside the fire, and I am counting.
I have a warm, safe, and comfortable home, food in my refrigerator, a clean bed to sleep on tonight. I have a wonderful family, a steadfast husband, a precious son, a lovely one day daughter-in-law to be. I was gifted with two sets of adoring parents, one by birth, a second by marriage. My list of incredible friendships is so long that I cannot see the end of it. I had the honor of being a nurse, the privilege of a rewarding and meaningful career which was my passion.
I saw the sunrise this morning. I woke up and my arms and legs still moved, the muscles in my face still able to form a smile. My ears were serenaded by the tinkle of my chimes as they swayed in the breeze.
Friends, where do I stop? The list goes on and on and on.
Does the length of my list mean I have no complaints? Does my wealth of blessings mean there are no hardships in my life? Certainly not. I can’t drive. I can’t read the words I am typing. I can’t see my jewelry or check my mascara in the mirror. That list could go on and on, just as I can imagine yours could too.
Life is full of troubles, but it is also stocked full of blessings. When I compare my two lists, I can honestly say that the blessings far outweigh the hardships. The love far exceeds the losses.
What about you? Is your list of blessings longer than your list of troubles? Perhaps you are in a hard season when trouble keeps knocking at your door. Maybe the problems you are currently facing are so overwhelming that their bulk is shrouding your blessings in a deep, thick fog. I have been there, and this cheery little Monday message is not meant to make light of the deep, dark place you find yourself in. Yet, when I reflect on the most anguishing seasons of my life, I can still see the blessings that met me in those deep, dark places. They formed the rope that pulled me out of that awful pit of despair.
Friends, there is one blessing that outshines them all, and that is the gift of knowing Jesus. His love saves us. His grace brings us the hope of heaven. His way leads to light and fullness of life. Knowing Jesus doesn’t save us from all the struggles. There will still be problems and pain. Jesus said as much in John 16:33. But He also proclaimed, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b, NIV). He has overcome, and by His grace, we can too. That is the blessing available to each and every one of us, regardless of our challenging circumstances or difficult seasons. Because of Jesus, we know love, joy, and peace beyond anything the world can offer. Because of Jesus, we have hope for the life yet to come. That is our blessing.
The question we must ask ourselves is: “Will we choose to live like a people who knoe they are blessed?” Will we continually give thanks for all we have or stay focused on wanting more? Will we let our complaints consume us or accept our hard things as part of living in a fallen and sinful world? Will we continually count our blessings or constantly catalogue our complaints?
It all boils down to this: “Will we live blessed?” I surely hope so! Because friends, without a doubt, it’s the best way to live!
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
Genesis 12:2 NIV
O Good and Gracious Lord, how richly You have blessed us. Our list of blessings is so long that we cannot see the end of it. You are so gracious to us, bestowing upon us Your everlasting love, unimaginable peace, overwhelming joy, and unending hope. Lord, help us to truly live as a people who know they are blessed: grateful, thankful, helpful, hopeful. To You, be all glory, honor, majesty, and praise.
In the Blessed Name of Jesus, we give thanks and pray,
New Year’s Blessings,